Leadership in New Zealand: The Impact of Gum Boots, the Haka, Buzzy Bees and Number 8 Wire

Author: Lyn Murphy, Manukau Institute of Technology

Abstract: This is an exploratory study of leadership behaviours within New Zealand. This paper discusses the environmental factors which impact on the approach and style adopted by leaders in New Zealand. It shows how approaches to leadership are closely linked to the society in which they operate. A review of the literature compares research undertaken by those living within Australasia and that undertaken on a global basis. The review finds that research undertaken globally clusters New Zealand with countries that share its Anglo-Saxon heritage. The local research distinguishes differences between Australian and New Zealand leadership styles. Leadership in New Zealand is shown to be influenced by the nature and size of its organisations, bi-culturalism; woman role models and isolation. These are shown to be represented by the Kiwi icons: gumboots, the haka, buzzy bees and number 8 fencing wire.